Frequently Asked Questions

Ok. to be honest no one has asked me any questions. So I just made these up in anticipation...

Q: If something doesn't work, how do I contact you to get it fixed.
A: You don't. This is free. I fix things that don't work on my site, and maybe I fixed it already, maybe not. My suggestion is you get the PHP manual and fix it yourself. That way you'll be able to fix other things that don't work the way you want them to.

Q: If I want some other feature, how do I contact you to get it included.
A: See question #1.

Q: Can I use this without royalty? What if I want to include it in a commercial website?
A: Be my guest. This is made availalbe under a Community Commons Attribution, Share-alike license. You can do whatever you want with it so long as you indicate where you got it, and make the source to VSWM available along with anything you distribute.

Q: How do I change the colors?
A: Edit the stylesheet and set the appropriate values, or copy one of the include stylesheets from the styles directory and edit it. Copy the changed file to style.css in the root website directory.

Q: Why is there an "Edit This Page" and "Edit Plain" both available.
A: The TinyMCE editor is great for most HTML. But if you want to do something wierd, or want to include PHP directly into a page, the auto-correcting functions in the editor will probably mess it up. So, the "Edit Plain" link bypasses the fancy editor and lets you get directly at the raw file.

Q: Why are there index.php files that don't do anythnig in all the directories?
A: This is a cheap way to avoid creating a bunch of .htaccess stuff to prevent webbots, crawlers, and people from scanning your website for files. Because there is a index.php file in the directory, the web server will return that page and not produce a directory listing. In other words, its "security through obscurity" - if they can't find what files are on your website, it makes it hard for them to snatch those files or bypass the main website entry point.

Q: Why can I only download files from $dnlddir?
A: The Simple Website Manager provides a download command for convenience (index.php?download=file). This command will send the file back to the browser with the correct header information so that the web browser knows you intend to download the file. However, with that command available, someone could stick any file name in the URL and grab files they shouldn't see. So, the simple solution is to prevent the command from getting any files but those in the $dnlddir area. Again, it's security through obscurity at work.

Q: When I edit a page it comes back with an error.
A: Check the file/directory permissions. On most websites you will have to set the files and directories to writable by all (0777 and 0666 permissions) to get the on-line editing to work.

Q: Why do the directories and files have to be writable by everybody?
A: This is a limitation on the web host, not the software. Inexpensive web hosting is possible because many websites can share the same server. That means the web server runs under a different user account (usually HTTPD) from your website login account. You have to make the files writable by the server account if you want to do on-line editing of files. The only simple way around that is to get a dedicated server and change the webserver account name. Maybe some day the people who create all this nice stuff will find a good work-around. For now, we all just live with it and protect the files on the website by other means.